Dustin King

Assistant Professor
Molecular Biology & Biochemistry


A fundamental characteristic of bacteria is their remarkable ability to adapt to changing environments and maintain metabolic homeostasis. To accomplish this, they continuously decode chemical messages, in the form of metabolites, to sense and adapt to their surroundings. For example, several pathogens sense host-derived metabolites to trigger virulence. Further, bacteria constantly gauge local nutrient levels and adjusting their metabolism accordingly. Understanding how these messages are being sensed is expected to unlock new anti-virulence strategies and enable controlling bacterial metabolism to produce desired products for biotechnology applications.

Our current research focuses on exploring how bacteria sense the essential metabolic gases, CO₂ and O₂, which trigger adaptive physiological responses within diverse bacteria. Our approach includes developing chemoproteomic methods to discover gas sensing proteins at the cellular level and then we characterize the detailed biochemical basis of sensing.

For more information, please visit our research lab website.


  • B.Sc., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Northern British Columbia
  • Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of British Columbia
  • Postdoctoral fellow, Simon Fraser University

Selected Publications

  • King D.T., Zhu S., Hardie D.B., Serrano-Negrón J.E., Madden Z., Kolappan S., Vocadlo D.J. Chemoproteomic identification of CO₂-dependant lysine carboxylation in proteins. Nat. Chem. Biol. 18: 782-791 (2022)
  • King D.T., Serrano-Negrón J.E., Zhu Y., Moore C.L., Shoulders M.D., Foster L.J., Vocadlo D.J. Thermal proteome profiling reveals the O-GlcNAc-dependent meltome. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 144(9): 3833-3842 (2022)
  • Escobar E.E.*, King D.T.*, Serrano-Negrón J.E., Alteen M.G., Vocadlo D.J., Brodbelt J.S. Precision mapping of O-linked N-acetylglucosamine sites in proteins using ultraviolet photodissociation mass spectrometry. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 142: 11569-11577 (2020)
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Future courses may be subject to change.